MANAGEMENT: Using differences as a strength

Whether you’re managing other workers or just communicating with customers, one key is recognizing and accepting that people view and respond to the same situation, the same challenges, very differently. Over time, you can start to gauge which category of person you are interacting with:

  • The talker. Talkers are those who like interaction with other people. They’re quick on their feet, like attention, like change and are often not very detail-oriented.
  • The doer. Doers move quickly, are organized, like to delegate, and make decisions easily and quickly.
  • The watcher. Watchers are peaceful, agreeable, unflappable. They avoid conflict but mediate problems when they arise and often have a calming influence.
  • The thinker. Thinkers like schedules. They are detail-oriented, often perfectionists. They’re not fast decision-makers but prefer a more thoughtful process.

Each of these types has their place in a business. Talkers, for example, are great at sales, while watchers are ideal in administration, bookkeeping and purchasing positions. Doers generally make great managers.
None of the four are more important or valuable than the others. They’re just different. Good people management involves learning to recognize personality types. It’s often easy to forget, for example, that what a customer wants may be different from what you think they should want. That’s where listening and reading body language comes into play.
The most common mistake people make in their interaction with others is trying to change them. It’s generally more effective to accept that everyone is different, and work to use those differences effectively. It comes back to that old adage: If both of you see things the same way, one of you probably isn’t necessary.